It has now been 22 days since I applied for my Tax File Number and there is still no sign of it. It’s frustrating and annoying at the same time. I mean it can’t be that hard to create it, can it? I had no clue what a Tax File Number even was or why I needed one so I assume there are more people out there that don’t know either. So let me enlighten you with this little guide.
What is a Tax File Number (TFN)?
Your TFN is a unique number the government give you to help them manage tax and other government services. Since Australia don’t have personal identification numbers like Sweden it’s the Australian Tax Office’s (Australiensiska Skatteverket) way of identifying you.
Why do I need a TFN?
It’s not compulsary to quote your Tax File Number to anyone but as I discovered quickly when I recieved my first pay there are advantages to doing tell your employer for example. If you don’t have one you pay more tax than necessary and you may not be able to get government benefits you are entitled to receive. Since I don’t have a TFN yet I was charged the maximum tax rate 46.5% on my first pay. I would have been able to claim back the money in the end of the financial year (which is in July I think) but since I sort of need the money within a resonable future given that the move here been pretty expensive I asked my work to hold my pay until I have my TFN. Then I’ll be charged just over 20% tax instead of the outrageous 46.5%.
We’v also been advised that I can’t open a bank account without a TFN and I’m also pretty sure you can’t join a super fund (in Swedish pensionssparande) without one.
How do I apply?
It’s free to get a TFN and the easiest way to apply is online. Go to the following website and follow the instructions. http://australia.gov.au/service/tax-migrants-or-visitors-tax-file-number-application
How long does the process take?
You should receive your TFN no more than 28 days after the application is lodged and registered.The TFN will be sent to the postal address on your application. And this is exactly what I’m waiting on right now. It should arrive this week but with my luck I’m sure I’ll have to chase it up on Monday.